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Govt to employ 14,000 teachers

NAIROBI, July 9 – The Government on Wednesday announced plans to employ 14,000 teachers this year to boost their numbers due to increased student enrolment following the free primary and secondary education system.

Education Minister Sam Ongeri told Parliament that the country has a teacher shortage of 47,000, which he said his ministry is currently addressing.

"And in the current budget we will be recruiting an additional 6,000 teachers. Above that, we shall be recruiting, due to natural attrition those who die, those who are leaving the service, another 8,000 teachers," he explained.

Ongeri said given more funds by Treasury his ministry would be able to recruit more teachers.

"Our plan would have been well served if we employed 10,000 teachers every year for the next four to five years to clear the current shortage of teachers," he said.

Members of Parliament (MPs) later approved a motion seeking to introduce a Bill, which will enable them to be involved in the budget making process.

The Motion brought by Maragua MP Elias Mbau seeks to establish a budget office that legislators can use to give their contributions and monitor the preparation of the financial estimates.

Currently MPs get to know of the Government budget when it’s presented before the House by the Finance Minister during the annual Budget Speech.

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Moving the motion Mbau said the envisaged budget office would promote transparency and ensure that the needs of Kenyans are properly addressed in the crucial parliamentary undertaking.

Still in the House, Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere was put to task by MPs demanding to know why certain airlines are still allowed to operate despite their worrying safety record.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midowo together with Kibwezi MP Philip Kaloki told the House that the government must reign in on such airlines that are threatening the safety of Kenyans.

Midiwo asked: "Could the Minister assure this House that he is going to reign in on the mushrooming commercial airlines before a disaster happens?"

Earlier Mwakwere had confirmed that a certain airline has had four incidents since the start of the year.

He enumerated the near-monthly incidents as missing the approach due to communication failure, air pressure problems, hitting a bird in Kisumu and malfunction of the hydraulic utility system.

The Minister admitted: "This has raised a lot of concern and as I speak an audit into the airline operations is underway."

He ordered an audit of all commercial airlines to ensure their compliance with international aviation safety rules.

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